Mexico Urges Local Firms Not to Help Build Border Wall

By Elliot Bullman

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told Mexican iron and steelmakers that, "there are more important things than business, like values."

Mexico’s economy minister has urged local companies not to participate in the construction of a proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.

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Ildefonso Guajardo, speaking at a conference of Mexican iron and steelmakers in Mexico City, said the government had no plans to take steps to prohibit companies from working on the wall but he called on them to "think about about their brand’s prestige" in Mexico.

"There are more important things than business, like values," he said. "Companies should think about how they’ll be viewed in Mexico, where Mexicans don’t want a wall."

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Rogelio Zambrano, chairman of Mexico's largest cement maker, Cemex, made headlines earlier this month when he said the company would consider providing estimates to supply cement to companies that participate in the project. Cemex later decided not participate in the bidding process for potential suppliers.

Cemex share prices have fared well since Donald Trump won the US presidential election in November last year, with investors betting the cement company stands to benefit from a proposed $1tn infrastructure plan.

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Guajardo said Mexican companies were free to make their own business decisions but he told businessmen in the audience that "it would be in your own interests not to participate in the building of the wall."

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